paint for table and chairs

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Established Member
13 Feb 2011
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county durham
My good wife informed me she no longer liked the oak refectory table we have in our kitchen. And then said she wanted to paint it :shock: A long discussion ensued about it would be sacrilege to paint such a nice thing.
Anyway we came to a compromise. I've removed the lovely oak table and hid it in the loft. And have bought a second hand table she can play nicely with. Its one of those veneered mdf jobs with solid Asian wood legs in mahogany esque finish.
She wants the laura Ashley look where its sprayed with some hard wearing cream smhoo and the edges are rubbed back slightly. Theres no chance I'm paying £1k on a one from the shop which is just mdf anyway.
So the question is what kind of paint do they use, its obviously sprayed on and is quite hard wearing. Any ideas?
Emulsion then water based varnish.

Or get a divorce ;-)

The factories may use a type of lacquer most commonly these days, but you'll presumably have to choose something else.

Emulsion as Pete has suggested is actually a reasonable choice for furniture, although don't get a matt one. You can add a water-bourne varnish on top for added toughness if you feel the need.

If the missus would like to play with something more interesting than yer basic emulsion you could think about milk paint/casein. Milk paints are very traditional for this type of look and are tough as old boots once fully cured.